Six months after registering FIRs against unknown people for an app that posted pictures of Muslim women Under the heading “Deal of the day”, the Delhi police arrested Aumkareshwar Thakur, 25, a BCA (Bachelor of Computer Application) graduate from Indore on Saturday.
This comes days after four people, including two engineering students and a Delhi University student, were arrested on December 31 for a similar app that posted edited photos of at least 100 Muslim women along with suggestive remarks and comments. Both apps were hosted on US-based GitHub.
in the July fall, Muslim women were listed in the app for the “auction”, whereby photos were obtained and manipulated without permission. Thakur is suspected of being the creator of the app.
Delhi Police DCP (Cyber Cell) KPS Malhotra said Thakur admitted during preliminary interrogation that he was a member of a “trad” group – a group of individuals on social media targeting Dalits, Muslims and women Twitter and the idea of trolling Muslim women were shared there.
“We arrested him from Indore for his role in the case. During interrogation, he admitted that he had joined a “trad” group (Tradmahasabha) on Twitter in January 2020 and the idea was to defame and troll Muslim women. He then developed the code for the app on GitHub. He confessed to his crime. The app was accessed by all members of the group. He shared the app details on his Twitter account. The photos of the Muslim women were uploaded by other group members, ”he said.
According to police investigations, Thakur joined the group using the Twitter handle @gangescion. “During various group discussions, the members had discussed trolling Muslim women. After the app riot, he deleted all of his social media footprints. We analyze his gadgets to restore code / images related to the app, ”said Malhotra.
According to police sources, Thakur has created over seven Twitter accounts in the past two years. “We saw that he was a member of many ‘Trad’ groups on Telegram and Twitter, but the members are now deleting those groups. We saw 7-8 boys who were part of the Tradmahasabha group. They all left the group and deleted their profiles. This was the main group. There was no hierarchy. All members are equally guilty of creating the app. Thakur was the one who wrote the code. There has been several discussions about Muslim women and their community, “a source said.
“These (‘trad’ groups) are some ‘traditional’ and conservative groups … the members seem to have oppressive views – from the caste system to the empowerment of women,” said a police officer.
The Indian Express accessed some of the tweets Thakur had posted from one of its alleged accounts, @CryptoBoiThakur. The handle was used to post casteist insults and offensive remarks. Police said they found two other accounts, @sigmatrad and @cryptoboiom, that were used by Thakur. “@Cryptoboiom was created last year when he created the app,” said one official.
Police said Thakur’s name came up while Interrogation of Niraj Bishnoi – allegedly the creator of the newer app – who was arrested earlier. “Bishnoi told us that he interacts with a lot of people in groups. In July 2021, he joined a group in which the app was discussed. This was the first time he heard about the app on GitHub. Bishnoi followed the reports and told us that Thakur lives in Indore, ”said Malhotra.
Thakur did his BCA from the IPS Academy in Indore and worked freelance from home. His family said he was falsely charged in the case.
His father Akhilesh said two police officers came to their home in New York Township, Indore on Saturday afternoon. “They told my son to come with them and took his laptop and cell phone,” he said. At around 7 p.m., he received a call from his son saying he was being taken to Delhi, said Akhilesh, a manager of a private company.
“I asked him what the problem was but he said it wouldn’t be clear until he got to Delhi … My younger son told me it had something to do with some apps that have a Hindu Muslim problem but my son had nothing to do with it, ”he said.
“I was there when the police came home. They asked my brother if he had any connection with the apps; he denied any involvement. He is falsely accused by those already arrested, ”said Mangaleshwar, 23, Thakur’s brother. “My brother had no reason to indulge in such activities,” he said.
Indore Police Commissioner Harinarayan Chari Mishra said the local police station had not been informed.